PRESS RELEASE: Gov. Beshear, Firestone Industrial Products break ground on Whitley County expansion
Gov. Andy Beshear joined executives from Firestone Industrial Products Co. LLC and local officials to break ground on the company’s 250-job expansion in Williamsburg, a project that includes a more than $50 million investment to increase production of automotive air springs in support of the burgeoning electric vehicle market.
“As we continue to build a better Kentucky for all of our families, I want to thank Firestone Industrial Products for its commitment to Whitley County, the Eastern Kentucky region and the commonwealth as a whole,” Gov. Beshear said. “This company has been a dedicated corporate partner in the commonwealth for many years, and this investment shows Firestone’s commitment to Kentucky as it creates 250 new jobs to meet increased demand for cutting-edge technology in electric vehicles. Kentucky’s workforce remains a national leader in manufacturing and made our state the perfect place for this expansion.”
The event signified the start of construction on the 68,000-square-foot addition, a response to growing customer demand and new business, including production of electric vehicle parts. Work on the expansion project is expected to be completed by December 2022.
Whitley County Judge/Executive Pat White Jr. said Firestone will play an important role in the community’s continued growth.
“This is an exciting day for Whitley County and Williamsburg, and we look forward to our future with Firestone as a big part of our community,” Judge/Executive White said.
Firestone has operated in Whitley County since 1989 and currently employs more than 500 people at the 375,000-square-foot facility, where the company produces approximately 4 million parts annually
Firestone Industrial Products, founded in 1936 and headquartered in Nashville, is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Inc. Firestone manufactures air springs and related products for commercial trucks and trailers, passenger vehicles including sport-utility vehicles and minivans, light trucks, motor homes, buses, agricultural equipment, rail and industrial applications. Firestone operates two North American plants, a European office and technical center in the Netherlands, as well as international manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Poland, China and Costa Rica.
Since 2020, auto-related companies in Kentucky announced nearly 40 new location and expansion projects expected to create 1,500-plus full-time jobs with over $360 million in announced investment. More than 525 automotive suppliers and four automotive assembly plants currently operate in the commonwealth, employing over 100,000 Kentucky residents.
Firestone’s expansion continues the commonwealth’s economic momentum, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic and subsequent economic downtown.